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LCC - The "Low-Cost Camera"

At ESA/SSD, we use LLTV (low lightlevel TV) cameras, also called Image-intensified cameras, to oberve meteors in the night sky. We are setting up two different camera types: The LCC series is a low-cost camera, the ICC is a state-of-the-art imaging system. Here, we describe the LCC. Figure 1 shows a block diagram of the camera.

 

LCC Camera - Click to Enlarge 

                       Figure 1: Block diagram of LCC.
 
The LCC camera series consists of the following elements:
  • Baffle - To avoid stray light entering the objective lens, and to reduce the probability of fogging of the lens
  • Objective lens - In the LCC, we use standard photo lenses, e.g. a 50 mm f/2.0 Zeiss lens. The sky is imaged via this lens onto the input window of the image intensifier.
  • Lens heater - from Kendrick, operated on 12 V
  • Image intensifier - we obtained reasonably priced 2nd Generation MCP intensifiers with Quarz input window from DEP. They operate on 3 V.
  • Single board video camera - from Conrad electronics, operating on 12 V. They record the output window of the intensifier.
  • An additional printed circuit board is used as a fixture for the cabling. It also has a 12 V to 3 V power regulator which is needed for the intensifier. The addition of a dedicated power switch for the 3 V line is foreseen. This would allow to turn off the intensifier while the camera is still running, which eases testing in daylight.
  • A connector - We used a pigtail in a previous camera and found out that this makes handling very complicated. A connector at the camera is a must! 4 wires go through it: +12 V and ground from the power supply and the video output signal and shield from the camera to the video recorder or PC.
 
 
This page is part of the ESA/SSD meteor pages. It was created by Detlef Koschny, 02 Sep 1999.
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